Elements of Urbanism: Macon, GA

March 25, 2009 18 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville takes a look at the downtown core of Macon, GA, which is known as the “Cherry Blossom Capital of the World.”

Tale of the Tape:

Macon Population 2007: 93,076 (City); 229,846 (Metro) - (incorporated in 1823)

Jacksonville Pop. 2007: 805,605 (City); 1,300,823 (Metro) - (incorporated in 1832)

City population 1950: Jacksonville (204,517); Macon (70,252)

Metropolitan Area Growth rate (2000-2007)

Macon: +3.36%
Jacksonville: +15.86%


Urban Area Population (2000 census)

Macon: 135,170 (ranked 203 nationwide)
Jacksonville: 882,295 (ranked 43 nationwide)


Urban Area Population Density (2000 census)

Macon: 1678.5
Jacksonville: 2,149.2


City Population Growth from 2000 to 2007

Macon: -4,179
Jacksonville: +69,988


Convention Center Exhibition Space:

Macon: Macon Centreplex (1968, expanded 1996) - 73,007 square feet
Jacksonville: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center (1986) - 78,500 square feet


Tallest Building:

Macon: St. Joseph's Catholic Church - 200 feet
Jacksonville: Bank of America Tower - 617 feet


Downtown-Based Fortune 500 companies:

Macon: Zero (0)
Jacksonville: CSX (261), Fidelity National Financial (435), Fidelity National Information Services (481)


Urban infill obstacles:

Macon: A railroad and I-16 cut off the riverfront from the rest of the city.
Jacksonville: State & Union Streets cut off Downtown Jacksonville from Springfield.


What does Downtown Macon have that Downtown Jacksonville does not:

Macon:  A state-of-the-art visitors center.
Jacksonville: East Bay Street, located between Main Street and Liberty Street.  This four block stretch is home to four bars and clubs.


Common Downtown Albatross:

Too many surface parking lots


Who's Downtown is more walkable?

Macon: 82 out of 100, according to walkscore.com
Jacksonville: 88 out of 100, according to walkscore.com


Downtown Photo Tour

Photographs taken May 2007.




Unique Macon

- The City of Macon extends into two counties: Bibb and Jones County.

- The city's nickname is the Heart of Georgia.

- Officially named in honor of North Carolina statesman Nathaniel Macon, the city's planners envisioned "a city within a park" and went about creating a city of spacious streets and parks. They also designated 250 acres for Central City Park and citizens were required by ordinances to plant shade trees in their front yards.

- During the Civil War, Macon served as the official arsenal of the Confederacy.

- General William Tecumseh Sherman bypassed Macon on this march to the sea, due to fears that Confederate forces were preparing a unified attack at Macon.

- Macon has been the birthplace or hometown to such musicians as The Allman Brothers Band, Randy Crawford, Mark Heard, Lucille Hegamin, Lena Horne, Otis Redding, Little Richard, R.E.M. and Young Jeezy.

- Macon is known as the "Cherry Blossom Capital of the World."

- Macon is home to 30,000 college students, lagging only behind Athens and Atlanta in college population in Georgia.



College Hill

The College Hill Corridor is a linear corridor weaving together all of our intown neighborhoods.  It begins at Mercer Village across the street from Mercer University's campus on Montpelier Ave. and follows Coleman Ave. and College St. eventually branching off down Washington Ave., Magnolia St. and Georgia Ave. into downtown.  College Hill also includes the College Hill Commons on Washington Ave, a commercial center anchored by Joshua Cup Coffee.



Article by Ennis Davis